Campaigners fearing the “destruction” of Norfolk’s tranquil Broads by power lines serving offshore windfarms last night launched a fight for the cables to be placed underground.

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National Grid documents show proposals for a 25-mile power line from Lowestoft to Norwich, marching through the picturesque tourist spot.

The link is needed to connect the giant East Anglia One windfarm, under construction about 43km off the Suffolk coast, to the national network.

If cables are not buried, more than 100 towering pylons near to the River Yare would dominate the skyline for miles around.

Another route being considered is along the Waveney past Beccles to join the electricity grid near Diss.

But campaigners are determined that this will not happen, and have vowed to convince windfarm bosses that underground cables are the best option.

John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk District Council, said: “Norfolk is on the frontline of what’s a massive national infrastructure project and we will have a massive contribution to the national energy supply.

“We can’t protest and say it can’t come.

“We’ve got to work with the National Grid to make sure it’s in the most appropriate form.”

The East Anglia One windfarm aims to generate 7,200MW, which is enough green energy to power more than five million households.

It is being developed by East Anglia Offshore Windfarm Ltd – a joint venture between Scottish Power Renewables and Vattenfall Wind Power.

The company has committed to bringing the energy from its first phase of up to 333 turbines ashore via underground cables to a substation at Bramford near Ipswich, expected to be by April 2016.

Contentious proposals for Broads powerlines - shown in the National Grid’s most recent connections update document - concern the third phase of the project.

And campaigners have stressed the decision must be that underground cables are used.

“We can’t have a knee-jerk reaction against this as they want to work with us,” added Mr Fuller. “There’s two years before a decision can be made, and we want to use the next six months to really shape this and tell East Anglia Offshore what we think is acceptable and also practicable - which means burying the cables.

“If we can make the case for it to go underground there’s a fighting chance it will happen.”

He said the council has approached National Grid, and is in the process of organising a public meeting.

And he suggested underground cables in Norfolk may be less costly than in other parts of the country, as the ground is “very flat” and most of the route is sparsely populated.

Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for transport and a member of the Broads authority, said the idea of pylons through the Broads may sound “far-fetched” but a similar scheme was given permission in Scotland.

In 2010 a power line got the green light to be routed through Cairngorm National Park, despite huge opposition from residents.

Hilary Franzen, of the Broads Authority, added that pylons would ruin the natural beauty of the area.

“The Broads is renowned for its special qualities and it is being promoted as Britain’s magical water land,” she explained. “These huge pylons marching across the Broads would effectively destroy that image and could have an impact on the tourist industry.”

Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, said plans have been on the horizon for some time and will require careful consideration, with the need for energy balanced against protecting the landscape.

“There will need to be a very full consultation as we’ve got some very sensitive landscapes that are part and parcel of East Anglia,” he added.

National Grid confirmed it is investigating new power lines in Norfolk and Suffolk, but stressed no decisions have been taken yet.

Spokesman Raymond Miller said: “National Grid has been asked to provide a connection from East Anglia Offshore Wind to the national grid.

“It’s very early days and no decisions have been made on where it will go.

“We do not have any connection points as yet, as we are only just starting to look into various routes.

“We always try to be sensitive to environmental considerations, especially around any activity near AONB and national parks.

“Once our technical studies are complete we will have a clearer idea of the most suitable options.

“We will then share them with the public sometime in summer 2013.”

Leave your comments below.

38 comments

  • Goodidea, Bury the pylons. Along with all those useless windmills starting with that abomination Gulliver. (at least Gulliver doesn't need any pylons as it never goes round to produce anything)

    Report this comment

    kevin bacon

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • With the new Growth and Infrastructure bill, you might just not be able to do anything about it, I'm afraid.

    Report this comment

    Heading for Squalor

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Peter Aldous's response hardly fills me with any great confidence, but then they rarely do.

    Report this comment

    peter waller

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • "The East Anglia One windfarm aims to generate 7,200MW," These people need to be reminded that at zero wind there is zero output, NOT 7200Mw. Then the unwanted pylons are still an eyesore, but, even worse, they are not conducting ANY electricity. This is stupidity, at best.

    Report this comment

    Windless

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Thoreauwas wrong...again. I try very hard to avoid any personal rudeness in these posts, unfortunately you clearly don't. As you assume that eveyone else on the planet is idiotic, please use your huge brain to explain to us uneducated peasants exactly how the cables get the 43 Km to the beach?

    Report this comment

    windup

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Difference between Kings Lynn and the broads mmmmm well the broads bring in the much more tourist than Kings Lynn so why would we want pylons all along the broads to spoil the views, Underground for sure

    Report this comment

    Martin P

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • There's a very simple reason why these power lines will be built overhead rather than underground. A recent study by consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff estimated that it costs £22 million per km to bury cables underground compared to £2.2 million per km to erect lines on 180ft pylons. One reason is the cooling systems required for underground cables as they emit massive heat - not a problem on overhead cables or those on the seabed. And Camoron has today stated that he will quash planning enquiries and let companies build pretty much whatever they wish. So sorry people of the Broads, you will just have to get used to seeing these monstrosities because they will be built, just like the Kings Lynn incinerator will also be built. Business will always take priority over the individual

    Report this comment

    Edward Millionaireband

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Bury the cables, but build wind-turbines all along the 25m route in exactly the same places as the pylons would have needed to go, about 110 wind-turbines. A good compromise I hear everyone say.

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • Windless. I can help you here, they are buried under the seabed. I know this as I designed the robot which buries them!. Therefore you have to question the sanity of anyone who KNOWS they are buried in the seabed then wants to UNBURY them and put them on pylons to the grid.

    Report this comment

    windup

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Has anyone on this messsage board actually thought about the destruction and sheer engineering scale of burying cables through 30 miles of countryside? It would surely have more affect on the surrounding landscape than a line of pylons. The "natural beauty" of our lanscape has been shaped by human demand for increased resources, this is just the latest chapter. The countryside is a factory feeding our own success. Either deal with it or be prepared to live by candleight and the horse and cart again.

    Report this comment

    frank young

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • If Kings Lynn is to have the Tory Wheelabrator Incinerator, then it's only fair the Broads get these pylons. After all, we've all got to do our bit for the environment.... just ask Murphy, Borrett, and pals!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Sorry for the repeat. Internet is so slow I thought it had not registered.

    Report this comment

    Christopher Neave

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

  • Citizen of EUSSR - another reason power companies prefer overground is ease of inspection and fault finding. Overhead cables are regularly inspected by helicopters and if there is a fault it can be more easily located and, being more accessible, easily fixed. I don't like Pylons and overhead lines being on one side of the Nar valley, mentioned earlier by Daisy Roots which has wonderful views marred by the line of Pylons but I try to be pragmatic.

    Report this comment

    Thoreauwasright

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • Agree that the Broads are a wonderful area nad need to be protected, therefore underground cables would be the sensible solution. However, have I missed something? last time I was on the Broads there are already several pylons dominating the sky line, just look down Haddiscoe cut and you cannot miss them, surely there must be a way in which existing infrastructure can be utilised, or is that far too easy?

    Report this comment

    Mr T

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Just read Citizen's technical info-explains a lot.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Windless, "those of us who actually understand the physics" - you been taking lessons then? As I recall you couldn't even explain the relationship between power, force and angular velocity. As for Windup's answer, if you'd bothered to read as far as the 12th paragraph you would not have been so confused. Please don't fall into the trap of thinking that the ability to cut and paste and repeatedly state the bleedin' obvious equates with understanding.

    Report this comment

    Thoreauwasright

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Frank Young-obviously too young to remember the gas pipelines going in or recently moved to Norfolk? Can you spot them now? Yes the trenching makes a mess but so does trenching for water and sewage pipes.And Thoreau the gas chaps also fly over and inspect the routes of pipelines so no reason why the electricity companies should not. Perhaps the problem is as much about separating the cables underground-where is Shrimper when you need him?

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Ingo Windless is now confused, please explain???

    Report this comment

    Windless

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • Well, this is just like the events at Dunham. Nice pretty offshore windfarm sails through the planning process but all the nasty industrial scale necessities are kept behind the curtain until the party is underway. Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite though. Of course they should bury the wires, but how much do we worry about the scars in Norwegian mountainsides left after the rock defences on our beaches were quarried, or the quarries in Derbyshire for road stone. Riding through South Yorkshire recently the place was unrecognisable in comparison with forty years ago when the pit and steel works scarred everywhere. We have been fortunate to be untouched by heavy industry. If there really is a case for wind farms maybe we have to grin and bear some of the intrusiveness-but not overhead cables!

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Where are the messages of support from the protectors and arbiters of the countryside? all these unsightly pylons? tut tut. Off course its the right decision, because large studies have shown that it beneficial to our health to decrease the HVP radiation, as it links to leukaemia, according to a huge Swedish study on exactly this very subject. Sweden digs in its power cables it shields so much better. Further, maintenance crews say they are easier to maintain as they are underground, not high up in the air. With so many of the North sea operators being foreign, maybe we should introduce a 'network levy' designed to help and finance these vital distribution networks, they, as operators, are in receipt of state subsidies and should provide a substantial part of our future offshore network, whether its from wind farms or sea current generators, they benefit from being connected. We also should have another look at the safeguarding of our estuaries and the agricultural hinterland, starting with the wash. A tidal barrier and lock system could dispense with two nuclear power stations and safeguard the Fenland's from flash floods and salt water inundation, they supply one fifth of our national fresh food supplies. With chaotic weather patterns this would not only be a good national employment project to support but also make sense, sacre bleu. The Wash will not seize to be an attraction to birds, its salinity will go down slightly and 150 ships per year can still go in and out, but Norfolk and Lincolnshire could cooperate and change the net capacity with a massive tidal energy project, less dependency of French nuclear power and Russian gas, and a thumbs up to a plethora of local enterprises, good for the local economy, all this just screams at us 'yes please'..... Just sayin'

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

  • Well spoken Citizen of EUSSR. I for one like the look of electricity pylons, they give a purposeful look to the countryside, and a warm safe resting place for the many birds that migrate to Norfolk. I don't like the solar farms though, it is much nicer trespassing through a field of corn then acres of solar panels.

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • These windfarms shall all start corroding and weather away on the gearboxes etc, in the next few years . Lets start digging now to bury these unsightly cables, plus underground less chance of gales to cause dissruption

    Report this comment

    yarco

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • We do not have to reinvent the wheel EU citizen, Sweden has done it, they have buried all their HV powerlines . Off course its about money, but we are subsidising these companies who earn mega bucks and some of it should come back in infrastructure needs, self enabling so to speak. Windless, if you can get your act together and find suitable land together with a community village or Town, you all can benefit from this EU law, it is not designed from rich landowners alone, but that's how it is promoted in this country, so those who own the land can benefit. Making out that these modern alternatives are only for the rich is silly and false.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • Please put the cables underground, if for no other reason, Pylons are bad for your health.There are numerous reports on the fact. I for one would never live near the monsters. ( p s They are unsightly ) Just Albert.

    Report this comment

    just albert

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • I don't believe it for one minute, there is no way they would get away with pylons.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

  • Where are the messages of support from the protectors and arbiters of the countryside? all these unsightly pylons? tut tut. Off course its the right decision, because large studies have shown that it beneficial to our health to decrease the HVP radiation, as it links to leukaemia, according to a huge Swedish study on exactly this very subject. Sweden digs in its power cables it shields so much better. Further, maintenance crews say they are easier to maintain as they are underground, not high up in the air. With so many of the North sea operators being foreign, maybe we should introduce a 'network levy' designed to help and finance these vital distribution networks, they, as operators, are in receipt of state subsidies and should provide a substantial part of our future offshore network, whether its from wind farms or sea current generators, they benefit from being connected. We also should have another look at the safeguarding of our estuaries and the agricultural hinterland, starting with the wash. A tidal barrier and lock system could dispense with two nuclear power stations and safeguard the Fenland's from flash floods and salt water inundation, they supply one fifth of our national fresh food supplies. With chaotic weather patterns this would not only be a good national employment project to support but also make sense, sacre bleu. The Wash will not seize to be an attraction to birds, its salinity will go down slightly and 150 ships per year can still go in and out, but Norfolk and Lincolnshire could cooperate and change the net capacity with a massive tidal energy project, less dependency of French nuclear power and Russian gas, and a thumbs up to a plethora of local enterprises, good for the local economy, all this just screams at us 'yes please'..... Just sayin'

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

  • The reason the vast majority of people hate wind turbines is because they are so ugly and dominate the landscape. So, those of us who actually understand the physics always oppose them on those grounds and the fact that they do little or nothing towards the generation of electricity. Now we have the unreal situation that an OFFSHORE wind farm which we can't actually see is now potentially going to ruin the countryside with pylons which are equally ugly! It would be hard to make this up. Sheringham shoal power is buried as will be Dudgeon, neither is visible after only a few months of re-growth on the land. It is absurd that anyone even considers pylons when burial is easy and invisible. It is even worse when all of the revenue from these absurdities goes to Statoil, in Norway, they get the money we get the eyesores.

    Report this comment

    Windless

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Meanwhile district councils turn down underground cables because they think it destroys farming.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

  • Just another thought. The mixed measurements above, "25 miles", "43Km" are clearly designed to confuse, however, has anyone considered how the power gets the 43Km to the beach before going into the 25 Miles of pylons? I spend a lot of time at sea, but don't recall seeing pylons there?? Any Greenie want to try and explain?

    Report this comment

    Windless

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Daisy Please don't worry too much. Wind turbines generate only one thing of any use to anyone, money, and only to the owner. You should worry though as you pay this money to the owner, as I and every utility bill payer does, through the absurd subsidies paid for these things. So don't feel you need to suffer some intrusion, simply object to every one you can!!

    Report this comment

    Windless

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • windup - you answered your own question earlier - did you forget which alias you used?

    Report this comment

    Thoreauwasright

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • I have no idea how large the trenches have to be for grid scale electricity cables but I bet they are nothing like the size of the two major gas pipelines which went across Norfolk from Bacton in the 60s -early 70s. They did cause some considerable disturbance to the subsoil which was still visible in crops many years afterwards, but I believe some compensation was paid and it is hard to see now where the pipes went if you do not know. It was some feat, and if that can be done so can this-without doubt the cables should go underground and not march across the landscape as they do up the Nar Valley. And as a business out to make money the wind farms should have to compensate fairly for damage loss of income and restrictions on future use of the land.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Is this the same John Fuller who sent one of the tryptych of letters identically supporting the horrendously ugly and unhealthy incinerator over in Kings Lynn? He seems to be a bit selective in his battles does he not?

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Underground cables would be the best option as we have some wonderful scenery that has been spoilt in many areas where there are already pylons on the skyline. If we were an industrial area then maybe it would be acceptable but not in our beautiful countryside.

    Report this comment

    Christopher Neave

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

  • I agree, but if anyone is so concerned there is a petition that they can sign here. https:www.change.orgen-GBpetitionsrt-hon-edward-davey-mp-secretary-of-state-for-energy-and-climate-change-proposed-electric-pylon-line-across-the-norfolk-broads-must-go-underground

    Report this comment

    Heading for Squalor

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

  • Underground cables would be the best option as we have some wonderful scenery that has been spoilt in many areas where there are already pylons on the skyline. If we were an industrial area then maybe it would be acceptable but not in our beautiful countryside.

    Report this comment

    Christopher Neave

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

  • John Fuller and his sidekick cllr. Ms. Jenny Chamberlin are looking to plug in their own incinerator power stations near Diss, once the one in Kings Lynn has forced open the doors to more. Equally Mr. Aldous, who's parents planning to build a mega hectare solar farm in Suffolk, on good farm land, ready to plug into the subsidy rich flow of cash.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Yeah. Fight the man. No power lines. Just don't complain when you don't get anymore power.

    Report this comment

    Z:)

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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